Anxiety Levels in People Who Stutter A Randomized Population Study Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2003
Anxiety Levels in People Who Stutter
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ashley Craig
    University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia
  • Karen Hancock
    University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia
  • Yvonne Tran
    University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia
  • Magali Craig
    University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia
  • Contact author: Professor Ashley Craig, Department of Health Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia 2007. E-mail: a.craig@uts.edu.au
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2003
Anxiety Levels in People Who Stutter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2003, Vol. 46, 1197-1206. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/093)
History: Received June 12, 2002 , Accepted February 24, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2003, Vol. 46, 1197-1206. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/093)
History: Received June 12, 2002; Accepted February 24, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 57

The question of whether people who stutter are generally more anxious than people who do not stutter has not yet been resolved. One major methodological barrier to determining whether differences exist has been the type of stuttering sample used. Studies investigating anxiety levels of those who stutter have mostly assessed people referred to stuttering therapy clinics, which is arguably a biased sample. To date, no studies have been published that have measured the anxiety levels of people who stutter in the community using random selection procedures. Such a sample is more likely to be representative of the population of people who stutter. The present study involved a random selection and telephone interview of people in 4,689 households. The telephone respondent was given a description of stuttering and asked if any person living in their household stuttered. If yes, a number of corroborative questions were asked, and permission was requested to tape the speech of the person believed to stutter over the telephone. A definite case of stuttering was based on (a) a positive detection of stuttering from the tape and (b) at least one of the corroborative questions supporting the diagnosis. A total of 87 people were identified as definite cases of stuttering across all ages, and 63 participants who were 15 years or older completed a trait anxiety questionnaire over the telephone. Mean trait anxiety levels were significantly higher than levels generally found in society, though differences were not large. Implications of these results are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by The University of Technology, Sydney, and a Commonwealth Department of Health Grant (NHMRC). Thanks also to the following funding bodies who also contributed financially to the research: the Big Brother Movement, the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, the Sunshine Foundation, and the Inger Rice Foundation. Thanks to Karen Peters and Karen Siccardi for their assistance in conducting this research.
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